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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Necessary Endings: Post #5--Getting Stuck

When Stuck is the New Normal—The Difference Between Pain with a Purpose and Pain for No Good Reason. Your thinking affects your brain. Neuroscience tells us that we create grooves when we think or practice skills or activities. Therefore, we create internal “mental maps.” And people who are stuck in a negative rut have a very different mental map. Such folks often end up in “learned helplessness,” a condition that is characterized by pessimism dictated by three P’s: Personalized (I’m bad); Pervasive (much around me is bad); and Permanent (it’s not going to change). On the other hand, productive, optimistic people see setbacks as temporary, aberrational, and transient. The author describes five mental maps that get us stuck and keep us from moving forward. 1) Having an abnormally high pain threshold—we hang on merely because we can handle the pain; 2) Covering for others—we do more than we should to cover for others not doing their fair share; 3) Misunderstood loyalty—while loyalty is important, it can perpetuate cycles of dysfunction and pain; 4) Believing that ending it means I failed—not wanting to be a “quitter” can keep us in toxic relations long after we should have exited; 5) Codependent Mapping—this is about love and caring that turns to enabling—toxic dependency [sticking with employees too long; spouses sticking with partners way too long after neglect and selfishness have inflicted pain; parents supporting adult kids way beyond a normal interval]. You see much of this in family-run businesses that keep people on the payroll WAY beyond what should be tolerated.

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